Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

who were the celts?

i need to come in to school tommoroww with some raly good work on the celts please help thankyou!

8 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    The problem of assimilation into the Celtic culture by the Anglo-Saxon conquers leaves many problems. For apart from a few Celtic place names, there is nothing to help us. The reason for this seems to lie in the scantiness of social relations between the two peoples, the new English, regarding the Celts as inferior, and their own peoples and tongue as superior? There may well be a grain of truth in this, as the time (era) of the conquest came at a point when the Romans had left, and the British / Celts were in turmoil with leaders of men and not peoples in the land. This is a simple but most plausible explanation at the time of the conquest by the English. One might imagine that the Celtic of the original Britons would have supplied a fertile field for loan words to the Anglo-Saxons; such is emphatically not the case!

    The Angles, the Saxons, along with the Jutes and the Friesians will from now on be called the English. What of the Celts themselves? The British Celts were highly advanced and literate; not only were they writing in their own language but was using both Latin and Greek as a lingua franca. They had transferred from centuries of oral tradition to writing and were producing a literature was second to none. Even their artwork had a centuries-old tradition at this time, producing a form of which was to be copied and adapted by the new English. Celtic metalwork, weaving and scholarship had European reputations. An attempt, in my mind, by historians to paint the Celtic Britons as primitive and pastoral is curious for those professional historians whose reputations in the field of Celtic scholarship, makes no attempt to justify their findings.

    If there had been intermarriage between Celt and the new English, then we would have a situation comparable to what had occurred in France. The Franks, cousins of the English, had conquered most of Gaul and intermarried, accepting Christianity almost immediately and absorbing a significant Gaulish vocabulary in the language, which has now become French. Over five hundred Celtic loan words are surviving in France from this time. I cannot help feeling that from my researches, evidence suggests that a far larger Celtic vocabulary survived through Low Latin and that both Gaulish and Latin equally created the French language; it could have been no other way; and here is the answer to why this is. Why has so little in England survived? I would suggest that from the writing of Gildas, and of those of Bede (but when you translate you interpret, you limit) then much is lost to the mists of our history. But this much I will say; the English overran the Celts, and the Celts retreated to lands that were less liable to be attacked; into the Welsh hills and the rolling downs of Cornwall. The Scots (Pict’s) also were of this Celtic origin, split into tribes; the Irish too were of the same Celtic origin, all of who were western Europeans. The native British churches may well have disappeared because there were no native Britons to support them; the fact that the Romans who left, took all the men between the age’s of 12 to 25 with them, did not do the Celtic Britons any favours. The answer is, and I feel that I can safely assert that along with the desertions to Wales, Ireland and to Cornwall; in the face of the English attacks, large sections of the Celtic populations were exterminated while others decided to seek homelands in much safer areas. The reinforcing those to the west, others took a more drastic approach to their predicament and migrated to the continental mainland.

    Some settled on the Rhine where they established the “Town of the Britons”, known to us as Brittenburge. Others went to Gaul where a number of places called Bretteville, are to be found; other moved south to north east Spain, and more made the lasting and significant settlement in the Gaulish Celtic peninsula of Armorica- whose name changed to “Little Britain”, Brittany, because of the extent of the settlements.

    Following the migrations of the Iberian first. Iberia had once been predominantly Celtic, settled as far back as 1000 BC, but the Roman Empire had eventually altered the language and the attitude of the people. The Celts of Iberia were at long last brought under the pax Romana, but the wars were long and savage; but the traces of the Celtic speaking population seem to have disappeared by the second century AD. Therefore, the theory that the new migration of Celts in the fifth and sixth centuries reinforced a native Celtic population is not to my mind credible. The migration to this area took place at an extremely early period, starting in the mid-15th century - perhaps even before the ‘mutiny of the Jutes‘ - at the same time when southern Britain was trying to fight off the Saxon (English) raids. There are records in Ireland that date back to about AD-380 that Celtic settlers came to Ireland fleeing from Britain. The British settlers began arriving on the northern seaboard, mainly in the Asturias, between Lugo and Oviedo. King Thiudemir ordained a ‘Council of Lugo‘ in AD-567.

    This council recognised the British settlers as a separate division of church administration. Peter Berresford, in his book “The Celtic Empire”, tells of the council like this. “To the See of Breto¤a belong the churches which are among the Britons, together with the monastery of Maximus and the churches which are in Astrias”. The monastery was that of Santa Maria-de-Bretora at Pastoriza near Mondonedo. It comes as no surprise to learn that the bishop of the Britons was one ‘Mahiloc’’ clearly a British Celtic name. This, to me, goes along way to is prove this part of the story of none assimilation of the Celts by the English, but of their forced migration.

    In AD-646 and AD-653 the British had sent delegates to the seventh and eighth Councils of Toledo and in AD-675 they attended the third Council of Braga. In the ninth century the area was being ravaged by the Moors. While the name Bretoña survives as late as AD-1156, in a Privilegium of Alphonse-VII, its clear that as a distinct cultural community with its own language, the British Celts had vanished by the ninth century. With the Germanic tribes such as the Franks (who would eventually give their name to the country), the Alamanni and the Thuringians pouring over the Rhine into Gaul, the face of Romano-Celtic Gaul was about to change. The peninsula of Armorica, (the land by the sea), had not been seriously affected by the Franks; indeed, it had remained fairly remote from Roman rule during the Romanising administration. Zosimus tells us that in AD-409 the Armoricans, encouraged by the example of the insular Britons, had thrown off the Roman yoke. There is an interesting point to be considered which not only makes Zosimus’s reference to the British influence in Armorica intelligible but also makes the success of the British in Armorica more understandable.

    Julius Caesar reported that the rulers of Celtic tribes in Gaul also ruled sets of the same tribes in Britain particularly among the Belgae. For example, ‘Commios‘ of the Atrebates of northern Gaul claimed authority over the Atrebates of southern Britain. This is not odd in the least, but more of a commercial interest by one so rich to control his import / export trade, and this control was as is to this day, a means of acquiring such trade, and from a distance? Why on earth not, our exports were barley, wheat, sharpening stones, wheels, and many more such implements onto the continental mainland. There is little difference from today’s control, except that Julius Caesar, who knew what he wanted in a commercial deal, knew nothing of the practical side of such trade, and it would seem that the historian should have made this clear.

    Getting back to my point; it is thought that there were three migrations over a periods of relative calm; these calm periods would have shown the English taking Celtic women, and there would indeed have been assimilation, but my feeling is more that these women and children were as slaves and not as wives, although they would have been used by their masters for sexual gratification also. As is seen in parts of the world today, refugees are taken in with humanitarianism as the main object of the host, and these people would have made them selves at home in what ever way they felt fit; though I have evidence that the British Celts became insular, and on occasion fell out with their host’s. The leader of Brittany; as it became known to us modern folk; was a man we know as Warocoh (a good old Celtic name eh), he took over from his father as the leader of the Celtic Britons, and he became Warocoh-II, but I digress. Armorica, incidentally, under the old Roman Gaulish administration, formed part of the province of Lugdunensis-II, whose ecclesiastical head was the Bishop of Tours. As a Bishop-of-Tours from AD-573-to-AD-594, Gregory was well placed to know about the British settlement there. But the British settlers were reinforcing the movement for independence in Armorica and strengthening Celtic church practices as opposed to Rome. As may be expected, when Gregory writes about the Breton ruler, he does say so with hostility. He paints Warocoh as a violent man. But Warocoh is merely defending his adopted and settled country from Frankish invasion. Warocoh was succeeded by his son, Canao, who defeated another Frankish army near Vannes. In AD-635 Judical-of-Brittany managed to conclude a treaty with Dagobert of the Franks agreeing the political frontiers of the now accepted Breton kingdom. For over a hundred years Brittany was left to develop peacefully. But the Frankish rulers started to claim overlordship of Brittany again and commenced military action. Pépin-Le-Bref (the short) attempted to invade in AD-753 but was beaten back by an enthusiastic defence, and not until AD-799 did Charlemagne succeed in temporarily subduing the country. In AD-818, four years after Charlemagne’s death, the Breton’s, under a new king, Morvan seized the opportunity to drive the Franks out. But Louis-the-Pious put himself at the end of an army and invaded. He brought with him the chronicler, ‘Ermald-Le-Noir‘, who was able to learn at first hand the Breton traditions for the migration which he was able to transcribe. King Louis’s conquest was also short-lived and soon King Wiomarcoh (AD-822-to-AD-825) was leading Breton resistance once again. Louis led a second invasion and defeated Wiomarcoh. At this point a Breton chieftain named Nominoë was an astute political leader. He used his time to consolidate Brittany, allowing her to recover from the years of the ravages of the Franks and strengthen herself. In AD-840 came the time he had been waiting for. Louis-the-Pious died and his three sons started squabbling over the Frankish Empire. Charles-the-Bald took most of France, Louis took Germany east of the Rhine and Lothar held the Middle Kingdom from Holland to the Rhone and further to Rome itself. Nominoë declared Brittany independent. Charles-the-Bald led a large army of Franks to assert their claims. Nominoë and his Breton’s met them at Ballon and on 22nd.November AD-845, the Breton’s defeated the Franks. In AD-846 Charles recognised Nominoë as king of Brittany. Later French histories denigrate the title to ‘duke‘, (but that’s the French for you, eh?) to justify political and cultural claims over Brittany. But in spite of Frankish plots and Norse raids, Brittany was to remain independent until the French finally defeated the Bretton armies at ‘Aubin-du-Cormier‘ in AD-1488 and Francis-II of Brittany was compelled to accept French overlordship. In AD-1532 France enforced the ‘union of crowns‘. Brittany retained its autonomy, with its own parliament, within the French kingdom until the parliament was abolished in AD-1790 in the wake of the French Revolution. Today, in spite of concerted efforts to eliminate its language and culture, Brittany remains an integral part of the Celtic world, still with some 800,000 native-speakers of Breton. The French Government refuse to allow an official survey of Breton speakers and the above figure I gained from ‘Le-Monde-de-l’Education, Paris in September of AD-1996. Brittany therefore remains the inheritor of 3000 years of Celtic culture.

  • 1 decade ago

    they were a linguistically linked bunch of tribes that spread across Europe, from Austria through Spain,France and the Italian side of the Alps, into areas of Greece, and of course into Britain & Ireland, where many people still describe themselves as celtic (the Irish, Welsh, Scottish & Cornish.)

    However, it's a little more complex than that, as it now seems that the celts arriving in Britain & Ireland were in relatively small numbers and that most of the people in 'celtic' areas actually have dna matches with the much earlier mesolithic hunters and stone age farmers of the area, rather than the celts.

    The celts were described as being tall and fair, putting lime in their hair to make it blonder. They also used the lime to twist their hair into fantastic designs. The men shaved their beards but often grew long moustaches. the celts like bright ornamentation and wore much gold and bronze jewelry--neck torcs, arm rings,horned helmets,often designed in spiral patterns. celtic women were quite 'liberated' for the time; they could hold land in their own right, leave a husband if he wasn't pleasing, or even lead a tribe to war. A powerful celtic warrior queen was Boudicca, who united the tribes against the Romans.

    The priests of the celts were the druids,who worshipped in oakgroves. They were seers and lawgivers and could be male or female. Fedelm was a mythical female druid of ireland. Druids kept much of the tribal lore,reciting it orally, as they did not use writing. they also did sacrifice humans, though Caesar's descriptions of Wicker men may have been overstated. Preserved bog bodies are found from the celtic era in which high status individuals have been given a ritual last meal, then suffered a triple death, usually garrotting, followed by a bash on the head, then interment in a pool.

    Celts were basically a people of contradictions--on one hand they seemed very civilised--they praised a poet as high as a king, and a satirical poem could bring such shame on a ruler he might lose his crown--then on the other hand they were headhunters and would often embalm the heads of slain enemies and hang them above their fortress gates.

  • 1 decade ago

    The Celts were some of the original people living in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Brittany. They were mostly driven from England by the Saxons, but they were fierce fighters, great storytellers, and great artisans--their craftsmanship, showing animals and knotwork, is some of the most beautiful in ancient cultures. They did not form a united nation, but lived in families, or at most in small kingdoms about the size of an English county. Ireland and Scotland still retain some of their Celtic heritage, from their family clans and art to their storytelling, and even some of their language.

  • 1 decade ago

    They were the people who controlled most of Europe (France, Spain, Belgium, England, etc.) prior to the Roman conquest.

    See Julius Caesar's book "The Conquest of Gaul" for some of the earliest and best descriptions of the Celts. Tacitus has some good stuff and Herodotus' "The History" has some brief mention but only hearsay.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The Celts (here pronounced "kelts") were a barbarous group of people from lands stretching from the British Isles to Galatia. The first historical recorded encounter of a people displaying the cultural traits associated with the Celts comes from northern Italy around 400 BC. They famously sieged the Roman countryside and demanded one thousand pounds of gold, which they received. They were accused of using cheated weights, and the Celts' leader, Brennus threw his sword in and said vae victis "woe to the Defeated". They were also quoted in history also said things like "To the brave belong all things". Yeah, rough guys.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Can't see Celtic doing a lot on this one (hoping now not of direction!). United appear just like the're simply getting into their stride whilst the scum look to be rather content material to coast alongside whilst Rangers are nonetheless getting their act in combination. If Ferguson treats Strachan's workforce and not using a extra admire than they deserve, I suppose his workforce would win handily.

  • Cabal
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Just to add to Brother's answer, the Celts tribes spread as far as Ukraine.

  • 1 decade ago

    They were pagans ... ever heard of stone henge .

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